The Literate One is Mikhail Iossel’s first book since becoming a permanent resident of Canada. A collection of short stories, Iossel’s work is articulate, culturally engaged and wickedly intelligent. From a peculiar tale of a savant speller, to an eloquent rant about Sully Prudhomme, to a beautifully digressive elegy for his own father, Iossel at once illuminates and challenges the reader with his unique and expertly rendered syntax. These texts are wise and playful, and at times reminiscent of his early adult years in Leningrad where he was a seminal figure in the Samizdat underground literary scene.
About the author
Mikhail Iossel was born in Leningrad, USSR, where he belonged to a circle of underground Samizdat writers. He immigrated to the United States in 1986 and is currently an associate professor of English and former coordinator of creative writing at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. The author of Every Hunter Wants to Know (W.W. Norton), a collection of stories, and coeditor of Amerika: Russian Writers View the United States (Dalkey Archive), he has had his fiction translated into several languages and anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and elsewhere. Winner of the Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, among other literary awards, most recently, he coedited (with Jeff Parker) Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia (Tin House).